French-American scientific cooperation: the ANR and NSF are intensifying their collaboration

On 26 September 2023, Thierry Damerval, President and CEO of the French National Research Agency (ANR), and Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue co-funding research projects and sharing of best practices, in order to promote the development of the French-American scientific cooperation. They announced two new funding opportunities.

As long-standing partners, the ANR and NSF began collaborating in 2009, resulting in the co-funding of more than 50 French-American research projects in Chemistry, Materials, Physics of living systems, Digital Sciences and Mathematics. Both funding agencies are also involved in multilateral initiatives, such as the Belmont Forum on Sustainability Science or the Trans-Atlantic platform for Social Sciences and Humanities, and have been contributing, since 2010, to over 30 joint calls to support French and American teams within transnational research projects.

Building on these initiatives, the ANR and NSF have decided to give new impetus to their partnership by signing, for the first time, a memorandum of understanding formalising their commitment. In this respect, both agencies are committed to continue, over the next five years, co-funding bilateral research projects, the sharing of best practices and information on research policy, for instance by arranging joint staff visits, conferences and workshops, to foster new French-American scientific cooperation.

This partnership will also provide an opportunity for exchanges and shared reflection on issues that are currently having a major impact on the conduct of research: open science, gender equality, scientific integrity, reform of research assessment and, of course, our response to sustainable development goals.

We are strongly committed to these issues at European level, within Science Europe, and more broadly, within the Global Research Council for example and other multilateral forums. In my view, it is essential that these discussions also take place on a bilateral level.” says Thierry Damerval, President and CEO of the ANR.

"Opportunity everywhere translates to innovation anywhere, from the local level to the global stage," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "We are excited to reaffirm our partnership with the French National Research Agency and to highlight our shared commitment to expanding the frontiers of research and strengthening the research enterprise”.

Two new themes will be supported in 2024: homogeneous catalysis with Earth Abundant Elements and quantum technologies

Through this collaboration, the ANR and NSF are providing two new funding opportunities homogeneous catalysis with Earth Abundant Elements1, and quantum technologies.

Both agencies are using the “Lead Agency” procedure to improve the set up and implementation of projects jointly proposed by French and American research teams. Every year, an agency acts as the Lead Agency and is responsible for submitting the proposals, organising the evaluation, and selecting the projects submitted. The partner agency is given access to all information about the projects, and each agency funds its national teams under its own procedures.

These new themes will be supported through the “Collaborative Research Project - PRCI” instrument of the ANR’s 2024 Generic Call for Proposals, and specific NSF programmes.

In addition, both agencies continue co-funding French-American research projects in the two areas they have been supporting since 2021: Physics from Molecules to Cells and Digital Sciences, Mathematics and their interactions.

Thus, this year, the ANR is acting as the Lead Agency for themes related to “Molecular Chemistry” and “Digital Sciences, Mathematics and their interactions”, and NSF for themes related to “Quantum Technologies” and “Physics from Molecules to Cells”. Projects covering themes for which the ANR acts as the Lead must be registered to the 2024 AAPG before 05:00 pm on 19 October 2023.

For more information:

The ANR’s 2024 Generic Call for Proposals

News from the NSF: “This week with NSF Director Panchanathan”

1Catalysis play a major role in several major industrial processes. Over the last few decades, significant attention has been paid to the development of more sustainable catalysts or catalytic processes. Lower biological toxicity, minimized environmental impact, cost reduction, scalability of catalytic materials for sustainable energy conversions are appealing attributes for Earth Abundant Elements to circumvent the constraints of conventional technologies
For more information, see the appendix dedicated to this theme on the 2024 AAPG page.

Last updated on 13 October 2023
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